Scott Leads Scheffler, Spieth, Conners, Young by 1 Shot in BMW Championship

Adam Scott of Australia is atop the leaderboard, with many of the young guns chasing the old guy.

The 42-year-old Scott shot 2-under-par 69 to follow an opening 65 and leads top-ranked Scottie Scheffler, Jordan Spieth, Corey Conners of Canada and rookie Cameron Young by one stroke midway through the BMW Championship, second event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, at Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, Del.

The top 70 players in the FedEx Cup point standings were eligible for this event, with the top 30 after Sunday moving on to the season-ending Tour Championship next week at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, where the 2022 FedEx Cup champion will be crowned.

“I feel like I’m playing on house money,” said Scott, who started the playoffs 45th in the point standings before tying for fifth in the FedEx St. Jude Championship last week, and now is projected to finish third. “I would be disappointed if I didn’t make the Tour Championship after the way I’ve played the last two weeks.

“But for now, I’m playing so well this week and that’s what I want to concentrate on right now. My game feels so good and I’m right up there contending with the rest of them. I made only one real bad mistake today and it cost me two shots on the 17th hole.

“And as much as my original goal was to make it to the Tour Championship, now I would like to win this tournament first.”

Scott, the 2013 Masters champion who claimed the last of his 14 PGA Tour victories in the 2020 Genesis Invitational Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, was sailing along with a three-stroke lead before he drove behind a tree and made a double-bogey 6 at No. 17.

Before that, Scott was a bogey-free 4-under through 16 holes.

Scheffler, who lost his lead in the FedEx point standings last week when Will Zalatoris passed him by winning the FedEx St. Jude Championship, birdied the first three holes en route to a 67, while Spieth was bogey-free for the day and tied for the lead before hitting a wild drive to make bogey on the last hole of a 67, Conners sank a nine-foot birdie putt at No. 18 to cap another 67, and Young collected seven birdies in a 68.

“I think I just took advantage of my opportunities,” said Scheffler, the Masters champion, who opened with a 68. “It’s not easy to hit a ton of fairways, but when I did early in the round, I hit it close. I got off to a really good start, but after that it was pretty mediocre.

“I wasn’t able to do as much on the back nine as di on the first nine holes, but I had a few really good putts that I thought were going in the hole and just didn’t. But, overall, I’m pleased with my round.”

Said Spieth, the 2015 FedEx Cup champion: “I really managed my game well and only made that bogey on the last hole. My game is trending in the right direction and I really like where I stand heading to the weekend.”

Third-ranked Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, a two-time FedEx Cup champion, birdied two of the last four holes for a 68 and is two shots back in a tie for sixth with fourth-ranked Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA, the defending BMW and FedEx Cup champion who made all four of his birdies on the front nine in another 68; fifth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State, the 2021 Olympic Gold Medalist, who holed out from 75 yards for an eagle at No. 17 in a 69; Cam Davis of Australia, who sank a six-foot eagle putt on the third hole to highlight his 67, and Scott Stallings, who had four birdies on the front nine in a second straight 68.

Seventh-ranked Justin Thomas, the PGA champion, incredibly failed to make a birdie in his 73 and is in a tie for 22nd that includes eighth-ranked Collin Morikawa of La Canada Flintridge and Cal, who made only two birdies in a 72, and ninth-ranked Zalatoris, who had two birdies on each nine in a 69.

Tenth-ranked Viktor Hovland of Norway had three birdies on a flawless front nine on his way to a 69 and is in a tie for 48th that includes 11th-ranked Matt Fitzpatrick of England, who had only one birdie in a 73, while fifth-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain holed a 43-foot eagle putt at No. 14 in a 70 and is tied for 543rd.

Second-ranked Cameron Smith of Australia, the 122nd Open champion, is not playing because of a hip injury.

For complete results and projected FedEx Cup points, visit https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html  

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